Feeds

Watchdog bans Natasha Richardson ski helmet ad

Email punt 'insensitive', ASA rules

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The Advertising Standards Authority has taken a dim view of an email announcing the death of actress Natasha Richardson which went on to offer great deals on ski helmets.

The offending missive, sent by skiwear4less.com, began: "We regret to inform you that British actress Natasha Richardson has died in hospital this morning, after suffering a head injury in a skiing accident in Mont Tremblant, Canada."

Having provided further details of the tragedy, the email continued: "We, as a company, strongly recommend the wearing of ski helmets by children and adults, in light of this and other tragedies. To encourage the wearing of ski helmets, we have reduced the prices of both kids & adults ski helmets and are offering FREE POSTAGE on all ski helmets."

The email also contained, the ASA notes, "a picture of Natasha Richardson and a number of ski helmets with prices".

The watchdog received two complaints from recipients of the email, who believed it "offensive, because it used the recent death of Natasha Richardson to sell the advertiser's ski helmets".

In its defence, skiwear4less.com stated the email "was a newsletter and not an ad" which "responded to recent current events in the same way as a newspaper, TV or radio". It further insisted that "informing... clients that a famous actress had died in tragic circumstances was not offensive, otherwise every newspaper and TV station would be an offensive medium".

In its adjudication, the ASA "acknowledged that advertisers were entitled to refer to current news stories in their ads, but noted the need for particular care how such stories were used, especially those involving a death, to avoid accusations of exploitation in order to sell goods".

It concluded that "reporting the actress [sic] death in such a manner, and in such detail, in order to sell ski helmets was likely to be seen as insensitive by recipients and was likely to cause serious offence to some".

Accordingly, the ASA ruled the email in breach of CAP Code clauses 5.1 and 5.2 (Decency) and 13.3 (Protection of privacy - deceased), and ordered it "must not be used again". ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups
Mankind shuffles into the future, five fingers at a time
Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen
Angry Microsoftie hauls auctioneers to court over stalled Pzkw. IV 'deal'
Apple's Mr Havisham: Tim Cook says dead Steve Jobs' office has remained untouched
'I literally think about him every day' says biz baron's old friend
Flaming drone batteries ground commercial flight before takeoff
Passenger had Something To Declare, instead fiddled while plane burned
Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport
'Canine training exercise' SNAFU sees woman take home booming baggage
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.